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More Brake Help!!!


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ok, im tearing my down my drums, installing new shoes and wheel cylinders. i got the drum off and now im just looking at stuff. I have no experience with drums at all. my manual says i need to take the dust cap off and take off the axle nut...and i can't get that dust cap off at all. it doesnt seem to be a pry off, and i dont have a tool to hook the "teeth" on it to attempt to spin it. am i going about this wrong? do i even need to remove that cap? Thanks

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Well, I'm sure that you can replace the shoes without removing the front hub, but with it out of the way, it might be easier to get at the springs behind it.


The dust seal or grease cap is just pressed into place and can be tapped off with a hammer or a hammer and small punch. Just turn the wheel while tapping and it will move outward and off. The cap covers the end of the spindle, a cotter pin, adjusting cap and spindle nut. Keeps the grease in and dirt out.


Hey, you could re-grease the hub and bearings while it's off. The grease should be replaced every 24 months or if in water over the hubs (620) ON winter I drove my truck all winter through deep, I mean deep water. By spring the front was growling, I mean growling! Replaced and all was fine again.

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Almost identical to the front, but no grease cap to bother with and the rear shoe will have an E brake cable attached to it.


The rear bearing is pressed onto the axle and is inside the axle tube behind the backing plate that holds the brake shoes and is not easily accessible like the front. There's no need to check them as they are sealed for life and rarely go bad.

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ok, latest update...i got the shoes off, wheel cylinder out, and as my buddy told me about...my e-brake cable is seized up. so i am going to replace that when i get back to the parts store. I am only held up now by the brake hose going into the wheel cylinder. i can't get the old fitting out of the old wheel cylinder! a 10mm wrench is rounding it off, 8mm is too small, standard stuff isnt working, so unless this thing is a weird 9mm, im going to have to get a 10mm "3 sided" wrench before i can take care of that. should i just go ahead and buy a brake rebuild kit while i have it down this far? thanks for your suggestions!

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well, here is the situation mike, my truck is 45 minutes away from the nearest parts store....so my buddy has a line wrench and im going to get that line off tomorrow. i also solved the parking brake problem. We decided that since i am bagging the truck, i don't need any of the e-brake stuff...so im going to hack all of that off tonight and quit caring about it! oh yeah, i also don't have any flaring tools yet to do the lines myself. mike, i really do appreciate all the help!

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  • 1 month later...

Ok, here is the latest update on my brakes and my last desperate cry for help...i am completely stumped now. Here is a list of the steps i have taken:




calipers are verified to be working, pads are in OK shape (when lifted and tires were spun, pushing the brake stopped the fronts from turning)


New brake hoses

New Master Cylinder




New shoes, drums, cylinders, removed E-Brake parts


I have bled everything, bench bled the m/c today, bought a bleeder tool and bled the system out (yes, even the proportioning valve)


I still have NO PEDAL! it just falls to the floor. I have "verified" that my booster is working because with the truck running, it has even less pedal pressure...i was told that meant that the booster was working at least. can some one please help me? i have not adjusted my drums on the rear, i will say that, but only because i didnt know what to do. my manual said something about removing a rubber boot and moving the star adjuster, and well, there was no rubber boot or star adjuster on the backside of the wheel...so i just gave up. in my own little twisted theory though, if i replaced worn parts with new one...they should already be in tighter range than they were before. but what else can i replace? as far as i am concerned, the only other things to replace are the rear brake hoses, the proportioning valve, booster and the front calipers. somebody please help, im losing faith again with this truck!!!

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Before bleeding the brakes, adjust the rear shoes.


Look behind the wheel on the backing plate, where you did your bleeding of the back brake cylinder. Down near the bottom you'll see an oval hole covered with a rubber boot. Hopefully it's on or crap gets in on the adjuster and seizes it up. If you take the drum off you can see it better. There is a star wheel that should turn freely to expand the shoes outward close to the drum. Try to free it up with WD-40 and some heat and lube with lithium grease. Do not force the adjuster too much or the little stub on the back that holds it in place will snap off! Take the shoes off and remove it if you have to and put in a vice. Heat and WD should work. Once loose, put the drum back on and reach in from behind and turn the star wheel with a screw driver blade and adjust the shoes out until there is drag and the drums can just be turned by hand. Replace the rubber boot and do the other side.


Now bleed. Well just in case here's the proper order for bleeding the '79:


M/C front, M/C rear, load sensing valve, right front, left front, right rear, left rear.

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well, the rubber boot is gone, i should have snapped pics, and didnt have my camera (again) there was just an arrow head shaped piece on the bottom of the backing plate with a square "key" in the middle of it...i didnt see a star wheel anywhere (which is what my manual described) but i also didnt have the wheels or drums off either. if you could, post pics of the inside and outside of your drum...and i can tell you if i saw that on mine or not. the truck is at my grandparents old house, and i think the place is going to sell in the next couple of weeks and i really have to get this truck moved soon! thanks for all the help mike!

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the star adjuster looks more like a cog, if you have the brake adjuster flipped the wrong direction, you may not be able to see it through the little square hole...


it is on one end of the brake adjuster... the brake adjuster looks similar to the wheel cylinder, but is mounted at the bottom and has no hydrolic lines...



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thanks 84, i do remember seeing that part right there when i had my drum off, i just didnt see how i could adjust it from the back of the drum with the wheel on the truck. next time i am at the shop, i'll take the wheels off, drum off and try to verify that the adjuster isnt frozen up, then put the wheel back on and attempt to adjust. i was so frustrated with everything last night that i just gave up on trying and thought i would ask the wizards here. thanks for the help you guys

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